Friday, June 27, 2014


In January 2014, Amy Johnson Crow of the Ancestry blog No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

The premise: write once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, a research problem — any that focuses on that one ancestor. The next week, write about a different ancestor. In 52 weeks, you’ll have taken a closer look at 52 people in your family tree… and maybe learned a little bit more about them in the process

I am writing about Emily Moore who was my 2nd Great Grandfather, Horatio Nelson Moore’s sister.

Emily Moore was born Christmas Day 1820 in Moore’s Mill, Canada and married Charles Williams in St. Stephan, New Brunswick, Canada around 1840.  Several years after they married they moved to Mississippi for health reasons. The following years found them in various places in Mississippi, Shiloh, Spencerville, Citronelle and Marion.  Then they moved into Nanafalia, Alabama.

All the time Emily was married, and lived far from home, she wrote letters.  She wrote to her parents, sisters and brothers, cousins and friends.  Many of her letters were saved and a distant relative of mine Francis Flemington and her husband Frank collected them and translated them.  Most of the letters are from 1869 to 1892 but the first one they have found was written in 1856 to her parents, Tristram and Thankful (Foster) Moore.  This particular letter is about the difference of her Universalist faith and the Baptist church she is going to in Alabama.  The letters were in English but because of the shortage of paper and the price to mail letters the words are cramped and written all over the page as shown below.

The following is a excerpt from a letter Emily wrote dated December 12, 1869 from her home in Alabama to her Brother Simon and his wife in Moore’s Mill Canada.

….I went to Mobile two weeks ago and stayed overnight, went with a friend of ours and an old neighbor of Rashe’s (Horatio Moore, her brother), Mrs. Kendall, in Portland.  She is the daughter of Jurias Keene of Calais.  Mr. Kendall came south in 1856 to take charge of one of Charles’ (Emily’s husband) mills in Mississippi.  After the war broke out he volunteered and was in the army about 15 months, then he was detailed to run a government mill at Meridian, Mississippi.  At the time of Sherman’s raid was taken prisoner and carried to Vicksburg, from whence he settled in Iles but has now taken an interest in a large steam mill 17 miles above us on the R.R. and we see them often.  Their daughter, aged 16, spends a good deal of her time with us.  She is now on a visit to Rashe’s but will be up tonight.  We, Mrs. Kendall and I, had such a good time, it was such a grand treat to hear Rashe sing and Kitty (Rashe’s daughter) accompany his voice with the piano.  Everything about them seems so nice and comfortable.  Mary keeps only a black boy for help this winter, though the family is pretty large, their own four juveniles and May (Emily’s daughter Freddie May).  The girls all go to the same school and pay $5.00 each for Nan, Bess and May.  Professor Lamus gives Kitty her tuition.  Rashe is giving them private lessons in vocal music two evenings in a week.

…..I am writing without my fire, the doors and windows open, and as pretty a bouquet of roses and corals in the vases as ever was culled.  There are several roses (Auggustas) in the vases as large as saucers, white, with gold colored centers and as fragrant as can be.  I only wish you could see them.  We had strawberries and cream for dessert last Thursday and if frost holds off with have plenty by Christmas.

I love these letters.  They give the every day activities during the time after the Civil War and the inter action with her family members and friends.  I am lucky that she mentions my ancestor and his family very frequently giving me an insight into his family life too.

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